`U.S. is now less respected'

Washington: For the first time since the Vietnam War era, the presidential election in the U.S. will see more emphasis on foreign and national security policies than on economy, jobs or outsourcing, a survey by the Pew Research Centre for People and the Press and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), has found. It found that 41 per cent of the population believed that war, foreign policy and terrorism were the top issues; 26 per cent cited economic issues and another 26 per cent named domestic issues. The survey found that 67 per cent believed that the U.S. was less respected than in the past with only 10 per cent saying it was `more' respected. The last time when foreign policy was rated more important than economic or domestic issues in a presidential election was in 1972. "Dissatisfaction with Iraq is shaping opinions about foreign policy as much, if not more than Americans' continuing concern over terrorism. Americans are acutely aware of — and worried about — the loss of international respect for the United States given disillusionment over Iraq. And by roughly two to one this loss of respect is viewed as a major — not minor — problem for the United States," the Council on Foreign Relations has said.